09.18.14How do I eat healthy?

This blog post was inspired by an email I got from one of my readers! (Thanks Amy!) She wrote me saying “I would really like to be educated on how to put things into my body to help it, not hurt it, and I was wondering if you have any rule of thumbs to ensure that you’re always choosing foods that work for you instead of against.”

MY ULTIMATE RULE OF THUMBS WHEN EATING HEALTHY:

-The produce, dairy and meat that I buy is always organic. 

If my local grocery store doesn’t have organic blueberries, I simply do not buy blueberries that week (or I buy the frozen organic ones). This is because conventional produce is sprayed so heavily with toxins/pesticides/herbicides that the workers spraying the vegetables have to wear hazmat suits when spraying them. Then they get shipped off to grocery stores and we are told to just wash them off and we will be fine? I don’t believe it! No wonder we are seeing such a massive increase in cancer and other various health issues. We are flooding our bodies with toxic chemicals! Not to mention if it is not organic then chances are it’s Genetically Modified (GMO), which are linked to tumor growth, infertility and a whole list of other health concerns. As for meat and dairy, by law animals raised for organic meat and dairy are not allowed to be given antibiotics and hormones or fed GMO feed. If I am out to eat and they do not specifically say “organic” meat on the menu, then I simply order a vegetarian meal.

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-I limit my processed food consumption and I do not consume ingredients I don’t recognize.

What is processed food? Anything that comes in a package. Don’t recognize an ingredient as a whole, real food? Simply don’t buy the food product. I almost turn it into a game when I’m at the grocery store, trying to get out of there with the least amount of food in packages. If you do buy a processed food product just be smart about it. Make sure it does not contain frankenstein ingredients that you cannot pronounce. For example, if I am going to buy tortilla chips I will buy the ORGANIC ones (non-organic corn is GMO) that have tops 3 ingredients: corn, salt & maybe lime. I steer clear of the conventional brands such as Doritos, etc that have a long list of crap ingredients (and MSG! that causes you to become addicted to the point that you literally cannot stop eating them- sound familiar?) It’s important to remember that it is all about the quality of ingredients not the quantity of calories. It is infinitely better for you to consume 200 calories of almonds over 100 calories of processed junky cookies full of ingredients your body does not recognize nor know how to digest (so it sends it to be stored as fat!)

-I aim to have a ton of veggies with every meal. 

I consider veggies free for alls. I try to eat as many of them a day that I can! I plan most of my meals around veggies and have a small serving of good wholesome fat (like avocado, salmon, almond butter), a small portion of meat or some sort of protein and a good grain like quinoa, brown rice or oats. Veggies are full of cancer fighting phytonutrients and fiber to fill you up and keep things movin down there

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-I avoid Hydrogenated Oils and High Fructose Corn Sryup like the plague

Corn syrup and hydrogenated oils make us fat!! Hydrogenated oils are oils that have been heated to such high temperatures that it actually changes the molecular structure of them and they become this plastic like substance. They are often used as a butter substitute because they add a doughy-ness to baked goods and creaminess to peanut butter and they also give food products a longer shelf life. But they wreak havoc once in the body. Your body does not recognize them as food and doctors have been quoted saying that they have the same effect on your body as SMOKING CIGARETTES! “In short, trans fats are poisons, just like arsenic or cyanide. They interfere with the metabolic processes of life by taking the place of a natural substance that performs a critical function. And that is the definition of a poison. Your body has no defense against them, because they never even existed in our two billion years of evolution — so we’ve never had the need or the opportunity to evolve a defense against them.” You can read more about them hereCorn Syrup is not only made from GMO corn, but it is almost all fructose, which is a type of sugar that your body breaks down differently than glucose. It is actually sent straight to fat stores instead of being efficiently broken down. 

-I do not consume “sugar free” or “fat-free” food products

Fat is a vital and essential nutrient! By limiting your fat intake you are only hurting yourself. You just need to be consuming the right kinds of fats. Good fats: almonds, any kind of nut, salmon, avocado, coconut oil. Bad fats: canola oil, hydrogenated oils. When they take out the fat, food companies have to over compensate with other ingredients (like sugar) , because without it foods taste bland. Therefore, often times fat free dressings, crackers, etc will be loaded with sugar and other crap to compensate for the lack of taste. Sugar free products contain splenda or other artificial sweeteners in the place of sugar. These artificial sweeteners are chemical concoctions made in a lab and are linked to tumors, cancer, migraines and a multitude of other health issues.

The take away message? Eat Real Food. Whole, real food in its natural state. Vegetables, fruit, nuts & seeds, organic meats and dairy and real, wholesome grains.

09.16.14Cold Pressed juice vs Pasteurized

There is no denying that vegetable juice is good for you. Packed full of vital nutrients:  essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that your body is just screaming for. The problem is, these nutrients are very easily lost if not handled correctly. 

This is where the issue with juices like Naked and Odwalla come in. I want to break down the ingredients and the processing of one of these Naked juices just to show you why they are horrible for you.

  • PASTEURIZATION 

 The juices may start out as wholesome vegetable and fruit juices but by the time they hit the store shelves most of them are nothing more than sugary, empty calories with little to no nutritional value. These juices go through a process called pasteurization where they heat it at high temperatures to kill off all the bad bacteria, but the problem is this kills off all the good stuff too: vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. There is no point of drinking the juice when what is left is nothing more than highly processed sugary water!

  • CONVENTIONAL FRUITS & VEGGIES

These companies are not using organic produce, which means you are flooding your body with a pile of chemical pesticides.  The photo below should make you seriously question ever eating any non-organic produce again. Not to mention, the only way to ensure you are not eating GMO produce is to eat organic, because by law anything labeled organic is not allowed to contain GMOs. GMOs are still considered a science experiment since we do not know their longterm effect yet, but they have been heavily linked to rapid tumor growth and infertility and thats just some of the side effects!! It’s not worth the risk! You can read more about GMOs and why I avoid them here, here & here.

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  • CONCENTRATES/PUREES

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Lets talk about Naked juice’s Veggie Blends (label shown above). It sounds healthy, right? Well, I hate to break it to you, but it is a sugar bomb! The first NINE ingredients are syrups. YES SUGARY SYRUPS. Concentrate is just a fancy name for syrup.  Juice concentrates are made from fruits and vegetables that are heated down to a syrup then they just add water back in! They do this to keep the juices shelf stable for longer periods of time. Yes the green machine (another popular Naked juice) boasts a lot of veggies, but you have to remember all of these veggies have been so highly heated that they barely resemble veggies anymore. Then add in the fact that there is 38 GRAMS of sugar in one bottle! I know a lot of you are thinking “but fruit sugar is okay, it’s not bad for you.” Yes this is true, but the “fruit juice” in these juices no longer resemble fruit that you can buy at the supermarket or pick off a tree. Am I saying you should never have fruit juice? No. But I am certainly saying you should have real, freshly squeezed fruit juice (not from concentrate) or cold pressed juice. I will get more into cold pressed juice below! 

  • SYNTHETIC VITAMINS

Since all the nutrients are lost during pasteurization and the heating down to syrups (concentrate), companies will add back in synthetic vitamins to make up for the loss. According to Melanie Warner from the book Pandora’s Lunchbox, “adding them back in wouldn’t work from a biological point of view, meaning they don’t function effectively when isolated from their natural fruit and vegetable habitat”. Not to mention, most of these vitamins are being created through chemical manipulation in labs, not from actual fruits and vegetables.

SO WHAT SHOULD I DRINK INSTEAD?

Cold pressed juice! Cold pressed juices are “pasteurized” using a method called High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing (HPP) that kills off any bad bacteria without the use of heat, therefore preserving all the essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. My personal favorite cold pressed juice on the market is Suja! You can find them at any Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, Publix or checkout their website to find where they are sold near you. They make cold pressed juice “smoothies” almost identical to Naked and Odwalla but all the vitamins and nutrients remain in tact because of the cold pressed process they go through.  http://www.sujajuice.com/

And right now you can trade up your Naked or Odwalla juice for a non-GMO, organic, cold pressured Suja and get $1.00 a Suja juice! Click below for the coupon 

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